Just for the Record: Albums we’re looking forward to in 2019

Jamie Haworth looks ahead to some of the upcoming (or rumoured) albums worth keeping an eye and ear out for this year.

Drenge – Strange Creatures
Release date: February 22nd

It’s been a while now since Castleton duo Drenge thrashed and snarled their way onto mainstream radio in 2013, with their debut album receiving high praise from music critics and Labour’s Tom Watson, no less. After two years of heavy touring, during which time they added former Wet Nuns bassist Rob Graham to their number, they released Undertow and cemented themselves as post-grunge force to be reckoned with. Drenge say that Strange Creatures came together gradually, undergoing months of chiselling to become their most considered work so far. Their trademark energy remains intact, though – vociferous album opener ‘Bonfire Of The City Boys’ sounds like a band raring to go.

Tame Impala – (Title TBA)
Expected: 2019

It’s somehow been nearly four years since Tame Impala’s last album. The Australian psychedelic band reached new heights with Currents, as meticulously-crafted tracks like ‘Let it Happen’ deepened their unique sound. Leader Kevin Parker has been up to all sorts recently, teaming up with Theophilus London, Kanye West and Mark Ronson for a range of intriguing projects. We probably won’t find out what this means for Tame Impala’s new music until release day, as Parker wants people to hear the new album in all its “recorded glory”.

The Specials – Encore
Release date: February 1st

The inherently danceable beat of 2-Tone ruled the nation back in 1979. The ska-punk movement’s figureheads The Specials sold out venues wherever they went, providing a soundtrack for Britain’s unemployed youth and forging a multiracial music community. 40 years later, the legendary band return with a new album this February. Encore marks the first time that The Specials’ Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter have written together since 1981’s iconic Ghost Town EP. Let’s hope they’re not feeling Too Much Pressure.

Toro y Moi – Outer Peace
Release date: January 18th

Electronic artist Toro y Moi returns this January, promising more of his distinct brand of experimental R&B on Outer Peace. The Californian wrote his last album Boo Boo in the midst of a breakup back in 2016; it marked a mellow evolution in his sound, but danceable beats were few and far between. From the hints so far, Outer Peace will be a whole lot more groovy. Toro y Moi critiques the culture industry via the dancefloor on lead single ‘Freelance’, an infectious track that manages to infuse glossy-sounding disco with an air of disconnection.

Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell
Expected: 2019

Following on from 2017’s highly impressive Lust for Life, Lana Del Rey has announced a new album is due soon. We know that its title nods to American author and painter Norman Rockwell, and have heard two tracks so far: the reflective ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ and the atmospheric (ten-minute-long) ‘Venice Bitch’. These slow-burning songs thread Lana’s characteristic West Coast references into genuinely searching pieces of music, and bode well for the album as a whole.

Joe Carnall Jnr – (Title TBA)
Expected: 2019

The Milburn frontman gave us the exclusive towards the end of last year that he’ll be releasing his debut solo album in 2019. After closing a chapter on the much-loved Sheffield band in style with a fresh album and UK/European tour in 2017, Carnall is ready to put his considerable songwriting prowess to the test and has recorded the album with an “old and very successful mate” who some call “the Agile Beast”. We have it on good authority that the majority of the album was put together in LA, if that helps you figure it out.

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